Why Did Ariel Castro Do It? Forensic Psychiatrist Says Amanda Berry Kidnapper Killed Himself Because 'He Was A Man Who Needed Control' [EXPERT INTERVIEW]

Ariel Castro Hung Himself In His Prison Cell
Ariel Castro Hung Himself In His Prison Cell Getty Images

Ariel Castro committed suicide late Tuesday night by hanging himself with a bed sheet. Since May, Ariel Castro has been described as disgusting, perverted and evil. The 52-year-old former Cleveland bus driver pled guilty to over 900 counts of kidnapping, rape and murder. On August 1, 2013 Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years for holding three young women against their wills in his Cleveland home. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were all kidnapped by Ariel Castro and held captive for almost a decade.

On May 6, 2013 with the help of a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, who heard Amanda Berry screaming for help, Berry was able to escape and call 911. Her frantic phone call to police went viral on YouTube. "Help me I'm Amanda Berry...I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm here I'm free now," Berry said during the call. Berry has often been described as a hero for working up the courage to escape and call 911. After the three women were reunited with their families the focus shifted to Ariel Castro.

People became interested in the Castro case not only for the survival stories of these three women, but to try and figure out why Castro did what he did to these three women. It seems the only explanation that was given, came from Castro himself, "I'm sick," Castro said at his August 1 sentencing hearing. During the hearing Castro attempted to gain sympathy from the judge telling the judge, "I believe I'm a porn addict. I'm not a violent person, I just kept them there without being able to leave." Castro would go on to say there was harmony in the house and even accused the victims of sometimes asking him for sex.

What goes on inside the mind of a man like Ariel Castro? Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman spoke with Latin Times regarding the possible reasons for Castro's imprisonment of three women and his subsequent suicide. "Castro convinced himself that there was harmony in the house and that his victims wanted what they got because it was the only way he could make himself believe he was a powerful and irresistible man." Dr. Lieberman said that Castro was a man "who needed to be in control," which is likely why the treatment of the three women was so brutal.

Berry, DeJesus and Knight were all beaten, raped, starved, only allowed two showers a week, and chained to different areas of Castro's house. Castro felt compelled to dominate these women. He tricked them into getting into his car when they were kidnapped and would torment them psychologically by making them watch news reports about their own kidnappings. The hypothesis could be raised that Castro finally felt the reality of what he had done when he was sitting in prison and the suicide was an act of guilt.

Dr. Lieberman says guilt was not a factor in Castro's suicide. "He was too narcissistic to have a guilty conscience," Dr. Lieberman told Latin Times. "[Ariel Castro] was a man who needed to be in control and feeling helpless and out of control in prison would have been too much for him to withstand." Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight have all been made aware of Castro's suicide, CNN reports. Berry's lawyer told the news organization none of the victims will speak publically about Castro's death.

More From Latin Times

Amanda Berry, 2 Missing Women Found Alive After Vanishing More Than A Decade Ago [VIDEO]

Michelle Knight Speaks Out At Castro Hearing: Tells Castro Her Hell Is Over But His Is Just Beginning [VIDEO]



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Amanda Schiavo holds a B.A in History from Pace University and has been a member of the Latin Times team since May 2013. She is an amateur historian, an aficionado of all things Disney, is an animal enthusiast and an accomplished equestrian. Schiavo enjoys writing human-interest pieces and stories related to helping animals and animal rights. Schiavo has been a journalist for four years and has written for Brooklyn Today as well as several other publications.